The Chinese government is "firmly" against the European Union's decision to impose quotas on imports of two categories of Chinese textiles, a spokesman with the Ministry of Commerce said in Beijing on Sunday.
The EU move, based only on a three-month data collection, can not be termed as an "accurate judge and a correct decision," said the spokesman Chong Quan.
"The decision would not only serve as a wrong trade protectionist signal to the European textile firms, but also hurt the interests of the Chinese textile producers, which should be enjoyed by them in accordance with the global trade rules," he said.
The spokesman said that China hoped that the current trade disputes between the EU and China could be solved through consultations.
"China, as a member of the World Trade Organization, has already adopted a series of measures to try to ensure the smooth development of the world textile trade following the lift of the global trade quotas on textiles on Jan. 1", Chong said.
The European Union (EU) on Friday asked the Chinese authorities for formal consultations on two categories of textiles and clothing products -- flax yarn and T-shirts.
The EU's move would trigger an urgency procedure, which requires China to limit exports of textile or textile products in these categories to a level no greater than 7.5 percent above the amount that entered the EU market during the period from March 2004 to February 2005.
The European Commission said the request is made after a thorough and fruitful telephone discussion between EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai.
"This will be followed by further contacts on Monday and in the coming week, when discussions can be expected to intensify at technical and political levels," the European Commission said in a statement on Friday.
On Wednesday, the EU head office gave the green light to Mandelson to continue informal talks with the Chinese authorities until May 31.
Earlier last week, Mandelson announced that he would request the EU to launch formal consultations with China over T-shirts and flax yarn. Meanwhile, there are seven other categories of textile imports from China currently under the EU's investigation.
To ease the situation, China agreed on May 20 to raise export tariffs on goods in 74 categories by as much as five times. However, China says that it will scrap recently agreed plans to increase export tariffs on textiles should the EU and the United States also impose quotas on imports.
(Xinhua News Agency May 29, 2005)